World No.1 Ali Farag is looking forward to the best-of-three games format at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals next month.
This tournament has a round robin group stage, while the best-of-three format is only used at one other event on the PSA World Tour, at the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic.
“I actually like the format a lot. You never get the chance to be on the losing end of a match, and come back to fight again the next day. It definitely takes a bit of pressure of while playing that you still have a chance to go through and even win the whole thing even if you lose one match,” Farag explained.
“The best of three format adds a lot of excitement to it as well, given that it’s the best eight players in the world are competing against each other with the margins in levels are so slim.”
For the first time in the tournament’s history, ranking points will be awarded. This gives the otherwise-fun tournament a sharper edge, according to the World No.1.
“It’s always been fun, yet very competitive due to the prestige and the glory behind it. But this year it’s even more competitive with the element of ranking points added to it,” he admitted.
Farag (right) and Mohamed ElShorbagy in action at the 2018 World Series Finals
This will be the first time that the PSA World Tour Finals will be held in Egypt, and that makes Farag happy, for more than just one reason.
“The fact that I won’t have to take another flight after such a long season feels so good,” he said.
“And the fact that I will be able to finish off in front of my parents and the home crowd feels even better. And the fact that it’s run by my mentor Karim Darwish and my Club Wadi Degla makes it even better and better and better…”
As it is the last event of the season, one that has been long and arduous, fatigue is inevitably creeping in to most players on the PSA World Tour.
Farag, though, remains confident. Despite losing out to Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final of the British Open last week, the World No.1 said he was proud of what he had achieved.
Coming into the final event of the season, the 2018-2019 PSA World Champion has said that this campaign has proven more about himself than ever before.
“I am feeling really confident. I have been learning a lot about myself this season, and breaking barriers that I never thought I was capable of. One more big push before I can chill on the beach,” he exclaimed.
The CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2018-2019 begin on June 9, with the top eight male and female players taking part to be crowned champion.